Paul: ‘I get the sense we’re still at an impasse’ on healthcare

Paul: ‘I get the sense we’re still at an impasse’ on healthcare
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Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGraham promises ObamaCare repeal if Trump, Republicans win in 2020 Conservatives buck Trump over worries of 'socialist' drug pricing Rand Paul to 'limit' August activities due to health MORE (R-Ky.) said on Thursday the Senate Republican Conference was not making any progress on repealing and replacing ObamaCare, despite multiple efforts being made by GOP leadership and the White House to unify the group.

“I still sense we’re at impasse,” Paul told Fox News.

“There is still quite a bit of disagreement. There’s basically two factions. There’s conservatives like myself who don’t want new federal programs, we want to repeal ObamaCare. And then there’s some of the moderates who kind of want to keep some of ObamaCare and they’re not to opposed to new federal government programs,” he said.

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Paul’s comments come after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTwo years after Harvey's devastation, the wake-up call has not been heeded McGrath releases ad blasting McConnell with coal miners in Kentucky: 'Which side are you on?' Prediction: 2020 election is set to be hacked, if we don't act fast MORE (R-Ky.) postponed the vote on healthcare until after the July 4 recess.

McConnell and the White House have failed in recent days to bridge the gap between conservatives including Paul and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzIs this any way for NASA to build a lunar lander? GOP strategist predicts Biden will win nomination, cites fundraising strength 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 MORE (Texas) and moderate Republicans such as Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsAn ode to Joe Manchin's patriotism on his birthday Susan Collins challenger hit with ethics complaints over reimbursements Overnight Health Care: Insurance lobby chief calls Biden, Sanders health plans 'similarly bad' | Trump officials appeal drug price disclosure ruling | Study finds 1 in 7 people ration diabetes medicine due to cost MORE (Maine) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Energy: Green groups sue Trump over Endangered Species Act changes | Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency | Wildfires in Amazon rainforest burn at record rate Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency out west The Hill's Morning Report - Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate MORE (Alaska).

Senate GOP leadership has little room for error on passing the bill, which can only afford two Republican defections, assuming no Democrat will vote for a repeal bill. As of Tuesday, nine Senate Republicans said they would vote no on the legislation, according to The Hill's Whip List.

Paul said he proposed a plan to President Trump aimed at trying to appease both of the factions, potentially along with Democrats.

“What about dividing the bill in two? Do the repeal, which no Democrat will vote for. Repeal the taxes, repeal the regulations, and do a fix to Medicaid that helps to pay for everything,” Paul said.

“No Democrats will vote for anything good like that. But Democrats will always vote for spending. So the big government Republicans that want more spending, take the spending and put it in the bill that Democrats will vote for,” he continued.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has offered to negotiate with Republicans, asking Trump to meet with Democrats and Republicans to reach a bipartisan deal on healthcare.